Parent organisation: City Care
What does your job involve? Each day I start off with my pre-start equipment and onsite health and safety checks and then get straight into digging. The crew completes a daily check-sheet which includes identification of hazards. The Digger Operator completes a permit to dig with the supervisor and project manager prior to digging.
What are some of the challenges? Digging around services, such as telecommunication, gas (etc) is a big challenge as you have to be incredibly careful. This is a delicate operation, including hand digging to expose the cables.
As a digger operator we work in all weather, rain or shine. During the winter, operating the digger in the cold can be quite a challenge in itself.
What do you like most about your job? I like the variety on work sites. The work can be quite varied from straight forward digging to work on a service-intensive site.
What has surprised you on the job? Since the earthquakes, the most surprising factor is just how much damage has been caused. For example, we cannot rely upon the services (cables) being where they are shown on the plan due to the movement of the ground shifting their position. This makes our work very tricky and we need to be more vigilant than normal.
Is your job any different now that you are working on SCIRT projects? There are a lot more health and safety challenges that have arisen since the earthquakes. We need to be aware of these and take into consideration on a daily basis.
Have you had any interactions with the community? We have had a few residents who are finding it difficult to cope with the vibrations the sheet piling causes and heavy vehicle movements.
To help relieve the residents' nerves we are doing what we can to adjust the impacts, for example, slowing machine movements down even further to reduce the noise/vibrations they cause.
We are very conscious about the impact our work has upon the communities we work within, therefore we are being as proactive as possible about reducing disruption and other disturbances where we can.